Speaker Pelosi at Politico Playbook Breakfast CSPAN April 2, 2019 6:50pm-7:34pm EDT
modern aviation starts kicking in. by the time -- when jack kennedy runs in 1960, there are no computer science classes at universities. by the time he's killed in dallas, there are computer science classes everywhere. air travel is replacing automobile and train travel in means ways. people are flying more and more hub airports being developed all across the country. so it was the jet age, the space age and kennedy grabbed on to it and made that corner stone of the new frontier. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q&a. >> speaker of the house nancy pelosi responded to allegations against former vice president joe biden. that he inappropriately touched two women. during a conversation with "politico" this morning, she also discussed president trump's threat to close the southern border. this is 40 minutes. >> thank you so much, speaker
pelosi. ms. pelosi: thank you. >> we usually don't give that kind of applause ever. >> or anything close. >> we want to kick off the day today, equal payday. we wanted to talk to you, get your read. what are democrats doing to highlight that? ms. pelosi: frale first of all, we passed it in the house last week. and rosa delauro has introduced this legislation every congress and we passed it in the house and we had the majority before, but we couldn't get the 60 votes in the senate. now we're hoping that with the advance in technology that is there and social media, to have the public sentiment weigh in on the senate in a different way, we're very excited about equal pay. it's part of our for-the-people agenda. lower health care costs, by lowering the cost of prescription drugs, bigger paychecks by building the infrastructure of america, that leads directly to what you talked about. here with mobility.
but part of that is equal pay for equal work. for women. and h.r. 1, a cleaner government. lower health care. bigger paycheck. cleaner government. in that middle piece that addresses the economic security of america's working families, equal pay for men and women doing equal work is very important. so today we'll have our press event to beat the drum that this is the day that women start earning money for the work that they've done for the first three months of the year. compared to a man without pay. >> you mentioned another plank in your agenda is lowering prescription drug costs, lowering health care costs. we reported and other people have reported that your staff is holding preliminary conversations, not negotiations , i know that, but conversations with the white house. could you give us an -- an update on that? ms. pelosi: the issue of health care, i mean, when the president has instructed his
department of justice to eliminate the affordable care ct, them's fighting words. this is something that is so essential to the economic security, as well as the health security, of america's working families. as martin luther king said, of all the inequalities, it is the one that is the most inhumane, the inequality and access to health care because people can die. and the president seems oblivious to that. in the campaign, the issue of health care and pre-existing condition benefit was an issue that people focused on, that the republicans misrepresented their point of view on. over and over again they had voted to eliminate that benefit. but all of a sudden it was their new best friend and now they're going to eliminate it again. try to. central to economic security is the cost of prescription drugs. it's just a stunning thing,
across the kitchen tables, across america. and we do -- are hopeful that two areas that we can work with the president on, one is lowering the cost of prescription drugs. he says that he wants to do that. very big her is a nfrastructure legislation or initiative that -- legislation that turns into law that turns into more mobility for the american people. ut not only that, it's transportation, it's also water, it's also broadband. it's a number of things. so the prescription drug issue is, when he said, in 2006 when we had he first time, six items on the agenda. raise the -- no, there were six items that our house democrats concluded were the priorities in the election. five of them became law.
one did not. enabling the secretary to negotiate for prescription drug prices. again we couldn't get 60 votes in the senate. but the public awareness of the impact that this has on their people's health and financial security is such now that we're hopeful that the president -- he hasn't so far, when he had a chance to do that, he pulled his punch and don't take it from me, the market went up like that for pharma. that day. because he pulled his punch. but now hopefully we can find a place where we can make a difference in the lives of the american people. again, two places -- if he's -- you know, insistent on his, i think, wrong attitude toward the affordable care act, and now what is he saying today? it's like nixon's secret plan. you're too young to know. read it in the history books.
it was my youth. nixon had this secret plan in vietnam. this is his secret plan. they're not going to pass it until after the 2020 election. >> i want to ask you -- ms. pelosi: and he can view it from mar-a-lago all week. >> i want to ask you, today the day democrats had set for attorney general to deliver the mueller report to capitol hill. do you think he will and what are the repercussions if it appears he is not going to? ms. pelosi: the middle eastern people deserve and want the truth -- the american people want the truth -- deserve and want the truth. wherever it is, let's show us the truth. there's no reason why they couldn't be putting some of this. they had certain -- one of the longest serving -- well, as longest serving person on intelligence, i understand source and methods but that's
no excuse for hiding the truth from the american people. so we'll just see. as we go forward. he's saying now, maybe the middle of april, it keeps getting a little closer. but there will be a release of the mueller report. [applause] >> you have spoken to attorney general barr about this? ms. pelosi: no. >> so, what gives you the confidence that -- to say that you will see this? ms. pelosi: our old friend, public sentiment. that is the biggest force. you are very much a part of it. public sentiment is everything. abraham lincoln. with it you can accomplish almost anything. without it, just about nothing. he said that. and he was right then and he's right now. whether we're talking about equal pay for equal work, whether we're talking about releasing the report, we're talking about a number of subjects. the public awareness and the public weighing in can just simply not be ignored without
paying a price. >> you're a member of the gang of eight which gets breefed on the most sensitive briefings in america. where you briefed on the investigation as it was being undertaken? ms. pelosi: which part of the investigation? > -- ms. pelosi: the mueller investigation, no. we couldn't know that and shouldn't know that. now we're talking about an investigation that could end up in the courts. that's not where we go. >> it's been interesting to see how democrats have handled it, including you. most of your leadership, including you, have talked much morrow bustly about your agenda -- more robustly about your agenda than these investigations. you've tried to focus and democrats have tried to focus much more on your legislative agenda than the vegs and i'm curious what you see -- investigations and i'm curious what you see the politics behind that. ms. pelosi: it's not a question of politics. it's what we said we would do when we ran for office. we said we would be for the people. lower health care costs, by -- bigger paychecks, cleaner
government. that's the agenda we have brought to the congress. winning the election enabled us to do other things like pass h.r. 8 which is the gun safety background checks legislation, which we're very proud to have passed. we'll be bringing up legislation to protect the dreamers. we have h.r. 5, which is our legislation to end discrimination against the lgbtq community. so there are a few other things that winning enabled us to do, as we promoted our agenda. but we are like a laser, jack hammer, whatever you want to call it, focused on making that happen for the american people. and that's not political. it's our purpose. that's who we are. as democrats. >> how do you -- what's your relationship right now with mitch mcconnell? and what -- do you have discussions with him on any of these items on your agenda? i imagine he doesn't line up as closely as you do. ms. pelosi: i don't know that
mitch is against infrastructure and transportation legislation. i think it should be paid for and we share that view. mitch and i go way back because e're appropriators. intelligence and appropriations. both committees tend toward bipartisanship. they used to. [laughter] ms. pelosi: this is the responsibility what the republicans to the intelligence and we are proud with adam schiff. so we have that background as appropriators over the years. i was ranking on one of the committees that he was for enops in the 1990's. left to their own devices, they can get the job done.
and the poison pill, prohibitions on any investments in climate or a women's right to choose that it becomes problematic. however, we have had some conversation about the caps and where we go from here. -- i think it will be the first look at the white house. -- 's a major condition for i don't know left to his own devices but no question that the white house weighs in on there. >> we talked about infrastructure ap the white house has said a lot about infrastructure spending which comes out a week from today. we are excited. the president said he could work
with democrats easier than republic cap. when we spoke with republicans, you said you didn't is many conversations with the president. have you had any conversations with the white house on this? ms. pelosi: i don't think i had a conversation. 75% to 80% of the conversations have always talked about infrastructure to a greater or lesser extent. lunch, atrick's day reagan tradition and with the prime mississippi ter of ireland joining us. we had a chance to have a chat. and secretary mnuchin testified hat they would go as high as a
1.5 trillion. house and senate republicans, $200 billion infrastructure plan. well, the society of civil engineers says we have like a $ trillion deficit in infrastructure in our country. $200 billion was just pathetic. and i believe that the president knows that now that that wasn't a good plan. for example, in the plan, it used to be if a community wanted to participate, they had to a nmptmp e up. federal government puts in 80 nd skin in the game and showed commitment of that area to the
project. the administration reversed that and said the locals will put up % and the locals will put 20%. this is a national -- just one of the most important things that president eisenhower. the it is about surface transportation, high-speed rail, road, bridges and our water supply. some of these systems are made of wood and brick, and there are issues of clean water and all the rest that need to be addressed. and then the issue of broadband and what that means and what it is in terms of transportation. that was president the transportation. that is a technology issue. you don't have many of these
other initiatives that are out there. so the broadband is a central piece of it. it is beyond roads and bridges, which is very important. it is billion school construction and housing construction, depending how much money and how we pay for it at a trillion and half dollars of used leverage, whether it is bonding all kinds of things. you can get a lot. hopefully the president has gone to a trillion and a half where we cannot add to the deficit. >> what is the realistic time line? ms. pelosi: we are ready and discretely and transportation committee has one piece of it and energy and we have marked up
in labor and we want to do this in a greenway because you have to be thinking of the future, you can't do it in the law of the 1950's. when you are the engineering of the roads. it is a whole different, wonderful world out there. but it is an opportunity for job growth. equality of for people not to be in the car for 45 minutes for a 15-minute ride. and get people out of their cars and into mass transit. it's caught up to market especially produce. the timing is important. it is about cleaning the air and improving the quality of life and build the fracturing.
but again creating further jobs. >> you said you are ready. ms. pelosi: we are ready to talk where we can find our priorities. this issue has never been a parts issue. over time, we have been able to work together in a bipartisan issue and it relates what communities bring forward that we have an expression that they have a proposal that they come to ask for funding that if it is chosen, that dirt will fly. that is not going to be money set aside. that dirt will fly. the consensus in the community has been important and usually nonpartisan. it is more a technical and what is the need and the opportunity and what will make dirt fly.
so the only kind of flill when president obama was president, they wanted to stop anything. we did get an infrastructure bill. can you imagine the bill of senator boxer and senator inhofe came together for a bill and took us down the path and it was modest compared our need are. >> some of the big news out this morning is about the president's desire to shut down the southern border with mexico and close all ports of entry and believes it is a way to pressure the mexican depoft to stem illegal immigration. what are the repercussions. i assume you don't want him to close the border. what can democrats do it? ms. pelosi: he believes, he
believes, he believes, ok, so he believes, what was the next phrase, good idea? >> the mexican of the government will do more to stop illegal immigration. ms. pelosi: the border is a two-way thing. if you visit there and i just did recently. i was anywhere $91 billion worth of trade comes into the united states and goes all over the country and you see the community with the border going through it. much of the activity at the border is about commerce, it's about tourism, some of it is about immigration. and people are going back and forth. families back and forth. and the president really doesn't understand that.
i don't know on the basis of what he believes, he may have decided -- i can't imagine he believes that is a good idea. but again, we have had other items on the agenda why it is hard to understand why he comes to conclusion. the republican senators from the region have made their concerns known. we'll see if they count for anything in his pleff system. [laughter] >> you have threat end to caught americans al countries. and do you believe he can do that? ms. pelosi: stiff competition. this is one of his worst ideas. [laughter] ms. pelosi: it could cover so much territory.
this is not a good idea. keep people at home, the point is to have the resources to make that more feasible. i don't know who is advising him there. and advising is the word. i don't know who is forcing his mind on some of this is subjects but not a good idea to say i'm going to cut off assistance there. we should do more and we should make sure that the resources are used for the purpose that they are designed for, and that is to improve the safety and quality of life of people so they do not feel the urgency to endanger their families to take the to seek asylum.
seeking asylum is a legitimate entry into our country and to say we are going to shut down the border is so foreign to who we are as a country. r decisions have been to valued-based. and it's what is happening now is all wrong. shutting down the border and cutting off the money in competition -- > can democrats do anything to cut it off? >> how you spend money in that nature? ms. pelosi: the senate is controlled by the republicans. and i think the appropriations committee can do something about that. but let's take it to a higher
plain and have a discussion. the president of the united states is a person of faith and i believe he is and people of faith across the country think about a different way. we had testimony from when he did the muslim ban and call it whatever you want, people turned out in such numbers opposing at but even in our testimony and military saying it's going to hurt that help us and but at was interesting was the evangelicals. the american association of evangelicals, whatever the title is, their testimonies was very clear. howcrown jewel of america's man tarism is our receive few
gee program. their organization was here and i quoted it back to them and they embraced what they had said at that time. o the people say the religious community has a different view and the right of people to seek asylum in any country. you have to apply for it. you have to meet the criteria, but you have the right to do that in a world of respect for dignity and worth. >> i wonder how this dovetails how the president's advisers is rewriting nafta and he has said, this is about, we are going to leave this to nancy ploys and how she moves this and what she does. i wonder your view on this and
how shutting town the southern border would impact your relationship with mexico. ms. pelosi: this can't level to the rise of an idea. as a notion monger. play to placers. t it is not an idea, let's hope there is some level of maturity at the white house that says cue -- [laughter] ms. pelosi: we would hope that we would be able to renegotiate anything that is out there and everything should be subjected to scrutiny. but you don't have -- i voted for nafta the first time and i'm inclined to see if we can't improve on that. i was burned by it and i don't
think it intended -- and i say this because it came out of the administration, the representations that were made didn't sin series or live up to it. but you think it is important to renegotiate anything in 25 years, but here we are. in terms of that. the concerns that our members have where the votes have, the concerns on workers' rights, the environment and pharmaceuticals, those are the issues. the overaftering concern, even if you have the best language in the world, if you don't have investment, you ain't got nothing. that's not the way it is.
now one of the things that the mexican government has to do before we could even consider it is to pass legislation about workers' rights in mexico. i could go in detail, but sufficient ice it to say. unless. ying, the word unless does not mean if -- unless you do this, we can't do this. unless doesn't mean if you do this, then we will do this. unless you do this, we can't consider it. don't take unless to mean, because we have to see they pass the legislation and have the factors in place that will make sure that it is implemented and demonstrate some commitment and sincerity because it is a big issue of how workers are treated
in workers and lift up our own workers, you don't do that by suppressing workers in other countries. it's an exploittation on both sides of the border. what i just mentioned, the three workers, environment, pharmaceutical and enforcement. the question is do we have some of the provisions? we are saying that enforcement has to be in the treaty, not in the implementing legislation. it only bears on how we act. it doesn't bear on all three countries act. it will take some time and see the evidence of what is happening, not om do they pass the bill but implement the policy. depen, this is a whole session.
ms. pelosi: they know their subjects. they have plans to get things done. we just have to see which of them connects. this is all up here, who connects with the american people. if you are running for congress and president of the united states. one of lat out say, any the candidates who has announced that he or she is running or is thinking of running, would be a better president of the united states than the present president of the white house. [applause] ms. pelosi: in new york, we had
a presentation of over 20 freshmen women and nita lowey said there are several presidents in this mix, right then and there three months into congress. they know, they know their purpose. and these candidates, authenticity and their foundation for it all. awe then tensity is the most important element that people have trust. whether they agree with you, they trust what you say or you will listen to them and what it means to them. i think we have a beautiful field of candidates. nd listening to 20 house members was invigorating. whatever the number is, more power to each and every one of
them. >> you have known scrow biden for 30-plus years. what is your reaction to people o said he made them feel uncomfortable. s. pelosi: i don't think it is disqualifying. i'm a member of the straight arm club. i'm a straight armer. you have a cold and i have a cold. [laughter] ploys pelosi i think it's -- ms. pelosi: i think it is important for the vice president, it isn't what was intended but how it was received. if people don't think they are being communicated with, even in your parge if your spouse does president think you aren't
communicating, you aren't communicating. it its how it is received. sime sorry you are offended is not an apology. 'm sorry, i invaded your says. that's not accepting the fact that people think differently about communication. whether it's a handshake or a hug. i know joe biden a long time. he is an affection nature person to children, to senior citizens. that's the way he is. but that's not -- join the straight-arm club with me. and my grandchildren, when they were little, five, six, they would play games and then say, pen s emp sa mmpemp.
we say open biden, because he was so lovely to them. he has to understand in a world that people's now space is important to them and how they receive it and not necessarily how you intended it. >> i want to shift gears to the house. the majority, you are almost 100 days in. give yourself a grade of how house democrats doing so far? ms. pelosi: a-plus. > are we grading at a curve? ms. pelosi: we go beyond a-plus. top 10 issues. h.r. 1, we passed that and something going around the country and really important for
us to give people the assurance that their voice is important as any voice in washington, d.c., to reduce the role of dark interest money and people can believe we can do something in that. that we can do something about gun safety and the gun lobbies are not operating in a dark way -- 300 ating $00 million. and in terms of all of this. that the public does president see it that way. they paint it with the same brush and we have to change it. and i salute john sarbanes for his leadership on h.r. 1. it was the priority issue for a freshman class and we passed it and we will continue the
drumbeat. health care, paychecks and cleaner government. again, on those issues that we talked about, we have here -- we are introducing marked up in committee, had hearings or passed on the floor most of the agenda we put forth in the first 100 days which won't be another 10 days or more. i'm so proudig and of our members. it is beautifully diverse. 60% of our caucus is women and color and lgbtq. that is a broad line. [applause] ms. pelosi: and again, we are in the history books. when they came in, it was big
class, historic numbers. not one of them had a depaffell in the first year. 18 freshman are chairs. 10 of them women, more than half women have gavels. so i say to them, our diversity is our strength and our unity is our power and that's how we have to use our leverage and conveying the message to the american people and they are on board. >> two more quick questions. why do you think alexandria cortez gets so much attention? ms. pelosi: good for them. they go from left to right. and i don't know what your issue is but being a liberal from san francisco and i have that sign
in my peacement and i have shown it pushing strollers. as an activist myself, beautifully, nicely, we are in a world of technology where twitter followers are a measure god bless on and them all. >> app and i read in the book how donald trump said he wanted to help you become speaker and you did it on your own. ms. pelosi: anything he says, turn it upside down, it's the opposite. that is just a good rule of thumb on the scale. and whatever he says. he isals projecting, anything that he says, he is criticizing somebody, it means he knows that
it is his own exposure and his n weaknesses and this is a very serious matter and this election will be very important. i intipped to have the house won by this november and our candidates so fortified and so strengthened that it will deter any serious opposition because we intend. majority. majority. majority. it's important for us to win the house. and the senate, i think we can do, but us being completely ready at the retail level and help to win the white house, i think it's very important for our country and it's about our constitution and separation of powers and article 1, a separate co-equal branch of government and this not being respected by
the second branch of government. that would be small. this is about patriotism. as our founders said at the time, the times have found us. the times have found us now toll support our democracy and honor our oath of office and support the constitution of the united states. we say this is the most crucial election of all times and they just keep getting more crucial. this election in 2018 was important to give us leverage numbers, leverage to counter what was happening in the white house. but we now have to win that election. any one of those candidates would be a great president of the united states. >> sprer pelosi, we are all out of time. thank you for joining us again.
[applause] >> thank you for making this information possible. and a view from republicans on capitol hill, a different view. if you are not described to play book. sign up. cheers and applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org